Graphic Design - Grafisk design

Merch by Amazon is Paranoid

As a creative I like when companies respect copyright, and try to stop Copyright infringement. Intellectual Property is what we live on. But Amazon service Merch by Amazon have become somewhat paranoid.

I am a new user of their service, trying to sell designs on t-shirts. Trying to earn some passive income. What I have experienced with uploading almost all my designs, are rejections of the same from Merch by Amazon. The odd thing is that it is based on keywords I have used and words in the product description of the shirt. It’s on a level when it becomes ridiculous, and ultimately remove joy of creating new designs. Inspiration turns irritation.

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For hose who don’t know, Keywords are not part of the design, instead they are used to mirror the words buyers might use to find what they are looking for much easier. For instance if you make a design with an illustration of a Volvo car model made 2018, you use keywords like: ”car, Volvo, traveling, driving, 2018”. Later a buyer go online on Amazon to look for a t-shirt of a Volvo, and in the search field write those words. And product pops up.

Just take the 2018 World Cup of Football in Russia. I created a design, uploaded it to Merch by Amazon dashboard website. Then added keywords I considered useful, to make it easier for buyers to find the shirt. After 7 emails back and forth rejections, with their decision based on keywords, title of product and description, the World Cup of football in Russia 2018 might be over.

So which keywords did I use that Amazon didn’t allow? Here they are: ”Soccer, soccershirts, 2018, tshirts, soccer football Sweden 2018, world, cup”.

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In the latest email response from Amazon, they demanded I supply a documentation from FIFA stating they allow me the right to use the two keywords: ”world, Cup”. Actually, there were more generic non-trademark keywords, title and description words, but too many to list here.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such paranoid behaviour before.

My product, will it ever be approved, because of this paranoia, will have a keyword set that have nothing to do with football, Swedish national team, Russia 2018 world. Bizarre. Basically, fans of Sweden will never find my shirt.

Edit: And suddenly after many emails, rejections back and forth, like out of the blue, the design is accepted by Amazon Merch. Great, but the joy has gone. You can find the shirt here, but I recommend to also look for it on and

Stefan Lindblad

Illustrator & Graphic Designer

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